Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 students attend one Drama lesson a week where they will begin to develop the necessary skills for the GCSE and Performing Arts courses available at Key Stage 4. Further to this students will engage in activities that will help them to develop a range of transferable skills such as teamwork, confidence, presentation, speaking and listening, meeting deadlines, empathising with others, decision making, literacy and working independently. Students study and create pieces of work from a number of scripts along with engaging in role-play and a range of dramatic techniques.
Key Stage 4
Students can choose Drama as one of their options at the end of year 8. We offer the Eduqas GCSE Drama course. In year 9 and 10 students begin preparing the skills required for their GCSE performances and the written exam that take place in year 11. Students will work on a number of texts and projects that allow them to develop their understanding of a range of performance styles, characters, scripts, design elements, directorial skills and how language is used to convey meaning.
Along with developing performance skills in year 10 students will study a set play from the point of view of a director with a view to directing the actors and thinking about how the play could be set and designed as preparation for their unit 3 written exam at the end of year 11.
Year 11 is a busy year with 2 performances to audiences and a written exam. Students begin work on devising a piece of Drama from a stimulus material set by the board in September. They work in groups to complete this and perform to an audience usually before Christmas, along with completing a creative log for this performance, both of which are marked internally. This project constitutes to 40% of their GCSE grade. Component 2 is a performance of an extract from any published play to an audience and an external examiner in groups of 2-5 Finally component 3 is a written exam based on the play that they have studied in which they are asked to take on the role of a director and designer. Students are also expected to write a live theatre review for this exam. Results are consistently above national averages.
Key Stage 5
The A level course consists of three components:
COMPONENT 1 (20%, practical performance,) - Performance Workshop. For this unit students will either act in a group or contribute your chosen technical production skill to a performance from a set text and a devised piece. Students will work on the ideas of a theatre practitioner. The unit is internally marked and externally moderated.
COMPONENT 2 (40%, practical performance)- Performance on a Set Theme. You will be expected to work in response to a theme set by the examination board and to prepare two performances. In each case you will either act or demonstrate a technical production skill with a group of performers. The performance will include: scenes/extracts from a published text; a piece devised by the group. An evaluation of performance work for both pieces will be required. The unit is externally marked.
COMPONENT 3 (40%, 2½ hour written paper) - Text in Context. 1. Two set texts from a prescribed list: one pre-1900 and one post 1900. This is an 'open text' examination. You will be asked to discuss the play as a whole, including the following aspects: theatrical context; performance history; theatrical challenges of text in terms of acting; theatrical challenges in terms of production skills; personal reaction to the text; 2. Directorial analysis of an unseen text. There will be four sections to the paper: ground plan; design/costume; lighting/sound; movement; The unit is externally marked.
The Drama department offers a number of extra-curricular activities to all students across all Key Stages such as: A whole School production at Christmas (usually a pantomime), a production in the Summer, extra rehearsal sessions for all exam classes at lunch and after school from September to April, at least one Key Stage 3 theatre trip and a number of theatre trips are offered to KS4 and 5 students that allow them to see a range of performance styles and genres. Further to this we have a performance evening for the year 12 DA1 exam so that they can invite an audience. Further to this we often have students working on extra projects such as the school movement evening.
The Department has 2 fully equipped Drama studios and shares a room with the Dance department. Each room has a full set of working stage lights with lighting board, sound system, interactive, whiteboard and projector, 3 computers, stage blocks and fold up tables. In addition the department has a number of flip cameras, a strobe light, a range of costumes and props to support students work. We are continually building set and props for productions and examination pieces. The department shares a class set of IPads with the Expressive Arts Faculty. The extensive collection of scripts, monologues, supporting material and DVD library is continually being updated and offers students an excellent array of resources.